When I first hired Summit Research to complete my taxes, they guaranteed me in writing that their tax preparation practices of using Blackbriar investments, LLC, Tahoe North Investments, LLC, and Sierra Pacific, LLC are completely permitted by the tax laws. In this guarantee, the CEO of the company Ron V Strawn, assured me that he would assist me for free if I happen to get audited for any reason.
Since many of their clients are likely being audited, the company is attempting to release itself of any liabilities and has changed its name, now called Columbia Financial and Tax Services, Inc. and South Coast Financial and Tax Services, Inc. Also many employees have been replaced, But Ron Strawn still remains. Now that I am being audited, the new company does not want to honor its obligations, instead wants to offer their services for $1, 500- $4, 000 for audit assistance. It seems like they caused a problem, and are now wanting to benefit from it. They are now even claiming they never offered any such guarantee in writing.
I know there are many past Summit Research clients (I know of two others myself) in the same current situation. If you are experiencing this, please post any relevant information on this complaint form so others can view; or directly send me a private message: [protected]@hotmail.com
Together we need to find a company that can assist us. A tax attorney or advisor that you were able to find, that could help the rest of us. Or the methods of going after this company for damages. Please feel free to share your thoughts here.
Summit Tax Research Inc
5940 South Rainbow Blvd, Ste 100
Las Vegas, NV
151 KALMUS DR # 250
COSTA MESA, CA 92626
Columbia Financial and Tax Services, Inc.
South Coast Financial and Tax Services, Inc.
9901 NE 7th Ave, Suite C120
Vancouver, WA 98685
4500 Campus Drive, Suite 608
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Since posting my original complaint 5 days ago, i have received 4 emails from other Summit Research Tax clients. I am now aware of a total of 11 people that have used this company, that are now being audited. They all have the same exact story.
Lets not be silent. Share your story, findings, and progress here or send me a direct message email@example.com
seekingjustice- I can easily believe your story. Feel free to send me a message and let me know what your current plans are with this audit.
Additional company phone numbers:
I started this discussion on complaintsboard.com because I new there were others out there in the same situation as myself, and unfortunately I was right. On a positive note, this allows all of us to work together in finding solutions and updates to our current FTB/IRS issues and additional information on the scams orchestrated by Ron Strawn.
After meeting with a handful of reputable tax attorneys and CPAs, and communicating with now a dozen Ron Strawn victims; everyone is in agreement that the best course of action for now is to choose option 1 and amend the affected tax years.
I agree with "ActionvsRonVStrawn", and it would be best to use either a tax attorney or CPA that has other Ron Strawn victims cases that they are working on. This allows additional leverage for the group, and if the CPA is successful with one client, that same case can be made for the rest of the group.
I have decided to work with a CPA who is fully experienced when it comes to FTB and IRS audits. He is also prepared to negotiate with the FTB/IRS for the penalty fees. Currently he has a handful of Ron's clients he is working with, which could again help our case.
He has agreed to offer a reduces price for his services, for clients that are in this situation. His rate is $350-400, for each tax year amended. This cost will be discounted further depending on the number of years needing to be amended. He will not only amend, but look for missed deductions, to minimize the taxes owed. Price also includes both FTB & IRS amendments together. He recommends only sending the amendment to the agency that is currently contacting you; however keeping the paperwork ready if the other agency comes knocking later.
(mention you were referred by Paul, for the pricing above)
I would still recommend you do your research if you have not done so. I just wanted to provide an option to the people that are looking for guidance.
After we resolve our tax issues and get the FTB and IRS off of our backs, then we should all discuss strategies on how we can recover our damages from Ron and his bogus companies. As of right now, i think this is very premature to do, since we technically do not know how much damage he has caused each of us. I would recommend that we keep all documents, emails, etc that Ron, Summit, Columbia, So Coast have provided us, as this could be valuable later in the civil or possibly criminal case against them. Another recommendation, lets not threaten Ron and his new employees too much, as this may backfire and cause them to flee and open up shop somewhere else. We already know that they are professional scammers and are not willing to help any of us, instead are still trying to continue defrauding with the same technique from the past. Lets let them think that no one is on to them. Lets be smart with our posts and the specific actions we take, as Ron has proven to all of us how he can take advantage of anyones weakness.
For now, lets focus our attention and minimize our losses with the FTB/IRS. I hope we will all soon put this behind us.
Anyone can feel free to send me a private message: firstname.lastname@example.org; or post additional information on this forum for all to see.
I am shocked on how the government will allow for this to continue. As of today Columbia/So Coast is performing the same "blackbriar" hocus pocus scams to their new and existing 2009 & 2010 clients. I can only imagine on how long the tax agencies have known about this scam and have let it continue, especially since people started receiving letters in 2008. By not shutting Ron down, and only going after the victimized clients (usually waiting till the last minute, after 3 years from the tax date) with the 20-40% penalties, interest and fees, it seems that the agencies are attempting to allow the victims list to grow while bringing in additional funds for the state and fed.
Its almost to the point of empowering Ron and his employees to keep thinking they are protected since they are generating additional income for the state/fed. This does not seem right at all. With all of the evidence they are using against all of us, they can easily shut down Ron at the very least. We should not be required to pay a penalty if the scam could have easily been stopped by the same agency that is now coming after us. How can the government demand us to pay penalties for a scam that they are allowing to continue?
Has anyone brought this point up with their negotiating CPA or Lawyer? I feel this should help our case in negotiating with the state and irs.
as always, you can send me private messages at: email@example.com
I have a great CPA I can refer, if you need help
Another helpful tip :
If you haven't done your 2009 returns, you can always file for an extension. This way you can have more time to sort through this mess.
Hope this helps some of you out there.
Two major developments:
-This thread has skyrocketed to the top 5 complaints for this site. This only helps get the message out further, great work in sharing thoughts and suggestions.
-Received a tip that Ron is currently planning to travel to Mexico.
If this is true, he is in violation of his probation. We have very little time before he leaves the jurisdiction of the US. Any chance of us receiving retribution, vanishes when he leaves the country. We need to stop him asap. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, now is the time to take action.
Its funny how Columbia financial is adamant that Ron has never been a part of their company and he is simply hired on as an advisor. How can anyone believe this garbage when he is the only person listed in the WA Corporation information:
This guy didn't even try to hide his identity or lies. He most have known these things would eventually catchup to him. Seems as if he doesn't care if he gets caught.
With all of the pending legal actions against Ron for "financial fraud", how can this man openly create and operate multiple financial business in 3 different states? He is repeatedly doing this in the face of everyone, even after he gets caught. And what does the government do? Tracks down his victims for their 20% cut (in penalty fees). I feel like i'm in the twilight zone.
If you have had Ron or his company complete your taxes for you in the past, and have not yet received a letter from the FTB or IRS (which you will more than likely receive, since Ron has been red flagged), I have discovered some information that can help you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
People continue to ask on this forum and private emails to me, if a class action has any potential? if we should pursue one?
Here is an example of an OC tax fraud that occurred earlier this year: http://ocbiz.freedomblogging.com/tag/western-tax-services/
The victims were awarded 500K in damages in a class action and the owners went to federal prison. Funny coincidence, Ron used "Western Tax Services" as one of his companies name: http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/search_results.aspx?search_type=simple&criteria=all&name_type=starts_with&name=Western+Tax+Services&ubi=
My answer, i think a class action can diffidently serve its purpose.
We need to find out if Ron has any large assets (other than his new car and tailor). Does anyone have any insight on this? Real estate would be key. Can anyone do a search on this? Let me know asap..
I agree with both lane1981 & dreadanddoom, Cyrus is diffidently taking care of the situation. He was able to get an extension for me until June 30th. I'm no longer feeling rushed or stressed about my FTB audit. I already have enough things on my mind.
If you have not yet found a CPA to help, give him a call and see if he is a good fit for you.
well said dreadanddoom. I hate paying taxes too, as much as most people. I dont thing anyone enjoys paying taxes. However you cant simply stop paying them, otherwise everyone would do this. Brok, are you saying that you are not paying taxes and no one is coming after you? Show me a case where the IRS will allow this theory to work.
One note to keep in mind, Cyrus is doing both my FTB and IRS audit for the flat fee of $350 total. Although i have not yet received anything from the IRS, i and many others agree it is inevitable. Rather than going through the process a second time, i will have the documents ready when the IRS makes contact. I am even considering submitting my IRS amendments before they make contact, to possibly have a better case in avoiding the penalties, due to my voluntary revisions.
Quoting from a famous Spanish proverb, "Cheap things turn out to be expensive". I have learned this turns out to be the truth in many aspects of life.
The people that are just doing their FTB filings may want to consider getting all of it out of the way. You may want to ask the CPA that is doing your FTB amendments how much they charge for IRS amendments. Because keep in mind, that the IRS is the bigger ticket item, not the FTB.
I dont think $350 is too much for both FTB and IRS.
One last note to consider is that the statute of limitation will not really protect us. On the cases of when the IRS considers something as tax evasion, they are permitted to go back 10 years. In which the FTB already considers this case with us. And if they consider it as tax fraud, there is absolutely no statute of limitations. My point is that if the IRS/FTB want to come after us at anytime, they always can, based on what they consider the case. Of course you always have the option of fighting them, but we all know that is an uphill battle within itself.
Has anyone gotten out of paying the penalties or interest charges after amending for either FTB or TTB? Lets not let this forum die, lets continue to share our stories... Knowledge is power for the entire group.
@troymoto25, yes i know the feeling. No one has even started to go after Ron. Ron can do this again and again, why wouldnt he? He's already not supposed to, but its like a slap on the wrist each time. In a way, he would be stupid to stop.
In the meanwhile he's making himself and FTB/IRS a lot of money.
On another note, does anyone know of a good bk attorney that can discharge tax liabilities? After everything is said and done, i am going to be under a lot of water and have no way of getting out.
Ive contacted the IRS, and they simply don't care. They told me since Ron is not certified with them (a CPA), they do not police this. They told me that I can only file a complaint with someone that is fully licensed. They didnt even care to find out who it was, or anything about the situation. Give me a break! Does that even make sense?
What if Ron was doing cosmetic surgeries without a license? Would the medical board or agency in charge simply turn the victims away, and tell them to contact someone who cares? IRS really cares about one thing right now, collecting as much money as possible, and from their viewpoint, Ron is doing a great job in helping them.
There is got to be something that can be done. We need to take this to a bigger forum, or possibly the news. How the IRS is handling this case is a complete joke.
I created this thread in this forum so that the information about our situation would spread, which it has. I pray it doesnt end here. I will try to do more since this is a big amount of money to me. WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF YOU? Are you simply going to pay for Ron's scam and let him get away with what he did? And worst off, let the government penalize the crap out of you? Im not going to quite, and i hope you dont either. From what i know, there is hundreds of us. We need to all make a strong effort on getting the message out and letting the world know whats going on. We need to make a stand!
or the alternative is to sit back and give the government your hard earned money that you no longer have, for someone else's gain (Ron).
@Ifitstoogoodtobetrue - You mentioned you have someone that would be interested in this case, any luck with that?
Also what are the rest of you doing? Have you guys all just given up? Lets not let this story die. What is happening to us is wrong. Lets make things happen instead of keeping silent.
@Troymoto25, becareful what you wish for. Ron has been in Washington prison for the past couple of months, however i have recently learned that he is scheduled to be released on December 24th. Now you'll get your chance of running into him.
In my opinion, this was not justice. The guy is a convicted repeat offender of financial/forgery/tax crimes. He has been in and out of court and jail, and still goes back to his old ways. Each time, slightly improving his scam craft so that he can last longer and scam more people out of more money. I wouldn't be surprised if he did this again next year, would you? But the good news (sarcasm), the TTB and IRS get a piece of their share by charging us (the victims) penalties and interest, each round. Its as if they've hired the guy to keep scamming the public.
All of us on this forum that have been scammed out of thousands, need to come up with a solution to go after Ron for compensation (class action lawsuit) and work out a deal with the government so that the penalties and interest are waived (or greatly reduced). There are so many of us, but we all need to be motivated again and start thinking and being active on this forum. The forum has greatly dried up over the last couple of months, which is not good. We need to catapult this thread to the top again, and maybe get attention from other mediums.
A few months back there was talk on the forum about a class action lawsuit. Whats the status on this? Can someone look into this? If the original firm wont do it, then lets get another law firm, but we need to act quickly, as I would imagine Ron is hiding and spending money like crazy right now.
Good news, i have recently learned that we may qualify for the newly passed Voluntary Compliance Initiative SB86. This was signed in March and will take effect on August 1, 2011. The initiative is designed for tax payers that have participated in tax shelters schemes and would like to voluntarily come forward and benefit by removing all penalties. Taxpayers will have between August 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011 to make elections to participate in the new program using forms and under procedures to be adopted by the Franchise Tax Board. The FTB can place your account on hold until August if you ask them, so that you can take advantage of this program.
I hope this helps some of you.
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.